Today Attorney General Paxton filed an objection to the Texas State Bar’s appointment of a one-sided and partisan “Investigatory Hearing Panel” to investigate him and his staff for defending the rights of the State of Texas by challenging the constitutionality of the 2020 election procedures in four states. Initially, the State Bar dismissed all ethics complaints related to that lawsuit, Texas v. Pennsylvania, et al. Yet months later, higher-ranking Bar officials ordered their staff to reinstate select complaints against Attorney General Paxton and his staff. In doing so, the State Bar has stepped far outside the limited administrative authority it has to regulate the practice of law and protect clients, and is attempting instead to control the sovereign actions taken by the State of Texas through the duly-elected Attorney General.
The State Bar makes no attempt to hide its partisan behavior. It ignored its own rules to impose an Investigatory Panel comprised of six unelected, left-leaning lawyers and non-lawyer activists strategically drawn from Travis County. As a group, this panel has donated thousands of dollars to federal, state, and local Democrat candidates, voted consistently in Democrat primaries for over a decade, and several have maintained highly partisan social media accounts.
“Texans know exactly what’s going on here,” said Attorney General Paxton. “It is no surprise that a cabal of President Biden donors and voters are finding a way to retaliate against the work of my office for the State of Texas’s challenge to the constitutionality of the 2020 elections. Nearly half the nation joined Texas’s cause and two Supreme Court Justices voted to take up the case. I stand by our lawsuit. This is a total misuse of the Bar’s power and responsibility.”
This marks the third public exposure of the Bar’s bias in recent years. First, then-Bar President Larry McDougal was wrongly reprimanded for his conservative viewpoints. Second, the federal Fifth Circuit concluded that the Bar unlawfully funded partisan political and ideological activities unrelated to the regulation of the legal profession. The Court found this violated Bar members’ First Amendment rights. And now, it is convening a partisan panel weaponized to undermine the discretion and legal judgment of an independent state executive, duly elected by the People of Texas and charged by the Texas Constitution to represent the State in its legal proceedings.
The Bar’s partisan overreach should sound the alarm for every lawyer in the State of Texas.
Read the Attorney General’s response to the Bar here.